Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle is calling on the local community and key stakeholders to submit urgent feedback to his office surrounding key problems with the Bruce Highway and Caloundra Rd Interchange upgrades.
It comes as negotiations are still ongoing between Mr McArdle’s office and the Department of Main Roads for the department and the shortlisted tenderers to attend a public forum where community concerns can be aired.
A spokeswoman from Main Roads advised that the forum will be one of the last opportunities for such issues to be tabled to the stakeholder register, which the tenderers must take into full consideration when preparing the final plans.
“This is our last chance to send a direct message to Main Roads and the tenderers about the serious problems and concerns regarding this upgrade to ensure they get it right,” Mr McArdle said.
“I will be writing to local stakeholders to ensure they understand the urgency and importance of submitting feedback in writing to my office as soon as possible.
“Main Roads have advised there is a short window of time to include these concerns on the stakeholder register since the announcement of the tenderers, so we need to urgently act now.”
Mr McArdle said he was still waiting to hear back from the department regarding their availability for the forum, likely to be held late November or early December, but will advise as soon as possible once confirmed.
Steve Amos from Aussie World Garage and Exit 190 action group said local businesses were extremely concerned about losing direct access to the Aussie World precinct.
“Main Roads is removing the only true independent service station from the Bruce Highway and with that goes the removal of any real competition from the Bruce Highway,” Mr Amos said.
“We need to create a situation with this much needed infrastructure that allows our business to continue and for the local community to benefit.”
Narelle McCarthy from Sunshine Coast Environment Council said protection of the Beerwah State Forest was essential.
“The protection of the high biodiversity values of the Steve Irwin Way Forest through a vastly improved final design which avoids the forest and delivers conservation outcomes overall is imperative,” she said.
Environmental consultant Jan Kesby from Save Steve Irwin Way action group said she was deeply concerned about the environmental impact.
“My concern is the 300-year-old trees in the forest and the endangered rainforest gulley and the endangered frogs,” she said.
“The endangerment of wildlife that use that forest is really important, it’s part of a corridor.
“I am concerned about the Exit 190 being cut off, it’s not a good idea and I do not want that roundabout in the forest at all, we don’t want anything in the forest.”
Last week Main Roads advised Fulton Hogan/Seymour Whyte Joint Venture and The Infrastructure Group were the shortlisted tenderers, who are now working to submit their proposals for the final design and construction of the project.
The tenderers have until late March to present their offer, with an award of contract expected mid-2016. Construction is expected to commence late 2016.
Urgent feedback can be tabled directly to Mark McArdle’s office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Feedback – Bruce Highway and Caloundra Rd upgrades”.
For more information visit: http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/brucehwycaloundra2sunshinemwy
Photo: SCD courtesy John McCutcheon